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NCAA Football

College Football Week One: Winners and Losers

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To start the 2017 campaign, there were early statements, breakouts, and even some stunners. Here are my winners and losers:

Winners:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide: Although quarterback Jalen Hurts only passed for 96 yards and a touchdown, the defense was the story having two interceptions and three sacks as the Tide held off the Florida State Seminoles 24-7. Head coach Nick Saban is now 11-0 against former assistants.
  2. Michigan Wolverines: The Wolverines rushed for 215 yards and the defense had six sacks as they pulled away from the Florida Gators 33-17. Even though they had to replace virtually every starter from last year’s team, the youth movement is on the rise in Ann Arbor.
  3. Maryland Terrapins: Quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome threw for two touchdowns and rushed for a touchdown. The defense had five sacks and made big stops late that helped the Terps defeat the Texas Longhorns 51-41, great win for the Terps and coach D.J. Durkin.
  4. Penn State RB Sequon Barkley: Barkley rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns as the Nittany Lions dominated the Akron Zips 52-0. You’re going to be hearing his name a lot in the Heisman conversation.
  5. UAB Blazers: Quarterback A.J. Erdely threw for two touchdowns. The offense rushed for 252 yards and two touchdowns as they pounded the Alabama A&M Bulldogs 38-7 in the Blazers’ first football game in two seasons.
  6. Liberty Flames: We’re going to give love to a couple of lower division teams, first, quarterback Steven Calvert threw for 447 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown. Cornerback Chris Turner had a pick six as the Flames, who are in their final season in the FCS, upset the Baylor Bears 48-45. Ironically, head coach Turner Gill (bet a lot of you didn’t know that), had one win against a Big 12 team in his two seasons as head coach at Kansas.
  7. Howard Bison: Another FCS team getting some love is the Howard Bison, quarterback Caylin Newton (Cam’s younger brother), a true freshman had 330 total offensive yards and three total touchdowns as the Bison stunned the UNLV Rebels 43-40. It’s the biggest upset in college football history, via point spread. The Bison were a 45-point underdog, they also pocketed a cool $600,000 for their athletic department, not bad at all.
  8. UCLA QB Josh Rosen: Rosen threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns…in the fourth quarter including the go-ahead to wide receiver Jordan Lasley with 43 seconds left as the Bruins overcame a 34-point deficit and defeat the Texas A&M Aggies 45-44. No words for this one.

Losers:

  1. Florida State Seminoles: The backfield being held to just 40 rushing yards and turnovers hindered the Noles’ offense in their loss to Alabama. They also have lost quarterback Deondre Francois to a serious knee injury.
  2. Florida Gators: Despite two pick sixes by their defense, the offense couldn’t hold their end as turnovers and being only 2 for 13 on third downs stalled drives in their loss to Michigan.
  3. Texas Longhorns: Though the Longhorns scored three non-offensive touchdowns via a pick six, a blocked field goal return for a TD, and a punt return for a TD, there seems to still be some issues at Texas. The defense gave up nearly 500 total yards in their loss to Maryland. Not a good start to the Tom Herman era in Austin.
  4. Baylor Bears and UNLV Rebels: Both fell victim to determined FCS teams that weren’t just playing these games for their school’s payday. The Bears’ defense gave up 585 total yards in their loss to Liberty, not the start new coach Matt Rhule wanted. As for the Rebels, well, their defense gave up over 300 rushing yards in their loss to Howard. This is the Rebels’ 50th season in football and they’ll be forever in the history books but for all the wrong reasons.
  5. BYU Cougars: The Cougars had -5 (yes, you read that right) rushing yards and only had six first downs as they couldn’t get their offense going as they were shutout by the LSU Tigers 27-0.
  6. Texas A&M Aggies: Questionable play-calling and poor time management cost the Aggies as they were unable to hold onto a 34-point deficit, ultimately losing to UCLA. Coach Kevin Sumlin’s seat was already hot to begin with, safe to say, it’s burning now.

 

Storylines Going Into Week Two:

Louisville visits North Carolina. Northwestern battles Duke. Auburn meets Clemson. Ohio State hosts Oklahoma in a battle of top ten teams. Georgia travels to South Bend to play Notre Dame. Stanford plays USC in an early Pac 12 showdown.

NCAA Football

Ex-Oregon Duck Doug Brenner Sues Willie Taggart, NCAA, University for $11.5 Million

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Former Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Doug Brenner has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, University of Oregon, former Ducks’ head coach Willie Taggart, and former Ducks’ strength coach Irele Oderinde, for $11.5 million in alleged damages, according to The Oregonian’s James Crepea.

Per the report:

“Brenner’s attorneys allege the University of Oregon was negligent for failing to prohibit, regulate or supervise the workouts, which they describe as ‘physical punishment regimens.’ The lawsuit also alleges that Taggart and Oderinde, both now at Florida State, were negligent in imposing and carrying out the workouts, and that the NCAA has failed to regulate such practices by coaches of its member institutions.”

Brenner was hospitalized last year, January 2017, with “rhabdomyolysis and subsequent injuries” after a series of intense offseason workouts, and is seeking damages for the medical bills he accrued due to the workouts, along with the “severe injuries, some of which are permanent, permanent renal injury, a shortening of his life span by upwards of 10 years, increased susceptibility of kidney failure, kidney disease, and death, severe physical and emotional pain, [and premature death] and an impaired opportunity to play football in college and thereafter.”

The report goes on to say that offensive lineman Sam Poutasi and tight end Cam McCormick were also hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, but neither player has been named as being a part of the lawsuit.

Taggart is now the head coach, and Oderinde is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the Florida State Seminoles.

One of the lawyers representing Brenner, Mark McDougal, said the following about the workouts referred to in the lawsuit:

“The drills were done in unison, and whenever a player faltered, vomited, or fainted, his teammates were immediately punished with additional repetitions. A key goal of this lawsuit is to force the NCAA to ban these kinds of punishing, abusive workouts. These workouts are contrary to NCAA guidelines for protecting players from injury and death. The NCAA needs to enact and enforce regulations that outlaw these practices.”

 

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MLB

Hurricane Florence Could Impact A Number of Games

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Hurricane Florence could threaten a number of games scheduled this week as the major storm system continues to threaten the United States Eastern Coast.

According to USA Today Sports, here are the games that could be impacted by the pending storm:

NFL

Sunday, Sept. 16

Carolina at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Indianapolis at Washington, 1 p.m.
New England at Jacksonville, 4:25 p.m.

College football

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Campbell at Coastal Carolina, 2:00 (rescheduled from Saturday)

Thursday, Sept. 13

Boston College at Wake Forest, 7:30

Saturday, Sept. 15 

Georgia Southern at No. 2 Clemson, 3:30
Middle Tennessee at No. 3 Georgia, 7:15
No. 13 LSU at No. 7 Auburn, 3:30
East Carolina at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 12:20
No. 15 West Virginia at North Carolina State, 3:30
No. 18 Central Florida at North Carolina, 12:00
Ohio at Virginia, 3:00
Southern Miss at Appalachian State, 3:30
Colorado State at Florida, 4:00
Old Dominion at Charlotte, 6:00
Norfolk State at Liberty, 6:00
Marshall at South Carolina, 7:30

MLB

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Miami at N.Y. Mets, 4:10, Game 2 TBA
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Washington at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Thursday, Sept. 13

Chicago Cubs at Washington*, 4:05
Oakland at Baltimore*, 7:05
Miami at N.Y. Mets, 7:10
Toronto at Boston, 7:10

Friday, Sept. 14

Chic. White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 7:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 7:10
Washington at Atlanta*, 7:35

Saturday, Sept. 15

Washington at Atlanta*, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 4:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 4:05
Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 7:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 7:05

Sunday, Sept. 16

Chicago White Sox at Baltimore, 1:05
N.Y. Mets at Boston, 1:05
Toronto at N.Y. Yankees*, 1:05
Miami at Philadelphia*, 1:35
Washington at Atlanta*, 1:35

*- games with playoff implications

Minor League Baseball

Wednesday, Sept. 12
Carolina League: Potomac (Va.) at Buies Creek (N.C.), 1:05

Thursday, Sept. 13
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.). 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

Friday, Sept. 14
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 7:05
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.) 7:05

Saturday, Sept. 15
Carolina League: Buies Creek (N.C.) at Potomac (Va.), 6:35
International League: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) at Durham (N.C.), 7:05

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NCAA Football

Braylon Edwards Apologizes for University of Miami Tweets, Stand by his Stance

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Former NFL wide receiver Braylon Edwards, who currently works for the Big Ten Network, has been suspended by the Big Ten Network for tweets he made on Saturday night after the Wolverines lost 24-17 to Notre Dame.3

Edwards, a former All-America wide receiver at the University of Michigan, heavily criticized Wolverines’ offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz, calling him “weak,” and called Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson “scared.”

Edwards played wide receiver for Michigan from 2001 to 2004, and then was drafted to the NFL.

Edwards then went on to target the Michigan team as a whole, tweeting  “f—ing Michigan offense so predictable … Michigan football is sadly one thing … Trash.”

Edwards was criticized by Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh on Monday for his tweets and then was officially suspended indefinitely by the Big Ten Network.

“Effective as of Sunday, Sept. 2, Braylon Edwards has been suspended indefinitely from his role at the Big Ten Network due to a violation of the network’s social media guidelines”, the Big Ten Network wrote in a since deleted tweet, according to Chris Vannini of The Athletic.

“No. 1, first of all, it’s not true. It’s not factual,” Harbaugh said of the comments. “There’s nobody in our program who thinks those things about any player on our team, let alone the two players he describes. On the other level, I was disappointed a member of the Big Ten Network would choose to attack the character of two of our players. That’s disappointing.

“We’ll handle things within the program,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all we control.”

“And, I would say, if somebody wants to attack the character of anybody on the ballclub, then come after me. I don’t think it’s right. It’s not true. And nobody in the program thinks that about any player on our team. Just so you know that’s not coming from anybody inside the program.”

While Edwards admits that his tweets were “excessive”, he stands by his criticism of the Wolverines, and says that he plans to reach out to Ruiz and Patterson through his brother, Berkley Edwards, who is a running back for Michigan.

Edwards added that former Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr “called me out in the media” and he realizes now he shouldn’t have done the same to Ruiz and Patterson.

“I admit I was excessive and emotional and inebriated. Mix those together. But the focus of my tweets remains intact. I stand by that. I was over-excessive Saturday night at 10:29, but I don’t back down on my overall stance as an alum and a fan. I’ve always defended Michigan. Even this year, I was high on Michigan,” Edwards said according to the Detroit News.

“I’m a man. We make mistakes. I’m sorry. I should not have gone that way. I still agree with the overall message — what do we do now (as a program)? But I apologize — shouldn’t name individual players. They’re still kids. That’s what I apologize for,” Edwards told the media outlet.

Now that there is Legal sports betting in the USA it will be interesting to see what happens when Edwards returns. Some sportsbooks have started taking wagers on whether or not he will keep his job in the end and for how long.

For now, Edwards has a lot of time to sit at home and reflect before his return to the Big Ten Network.

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